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Politics.940

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Our new bank-based oligarchy

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{Politics.940.21}: Richard Clark {cardo} Mon, 31 Jan 2011 12:03:30 EST (HTML)

He didn't want to disclose all his donors because he didn't want his youthful liberal base (the young people who worked their hearts out to get him elected) to realize how much money he received from Wall Street.

Muslim Brotherhood?! You really live in La-La land, don't you? You probably believe he wasn't born in the US, right?

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{Politics.940.22}: Richard Clark {cardo} Mon, 31 Jan 2011 12:08:40 EST (HTML)

On second thought, I suppose it's possible that some Muslims in the Mideast might have contributed to his campaign. Why? Because they believed he might give the Muslim world a break by ordering a cease fire in the killing of Muslims in the Mideast, something that McCain never would have done.

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{Politics.940.23}: Richard Clark {cardo} Mon, 31 Jan 2011 12:08:54 EST (1 line)

But so what?

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{Politics.940.24}: Elizabeth Costello {lizcostello} Mon, 31 Jan 2011 12:43:14 EST (1 line)

It's illegal Richard.

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{Politics.940.25}: Richard Clark {cardo} Mon, 31 Jan 2011 13:17:04 EST (HTML)

Illegal?! What do you think the "Citizens United" decision of the Supreme Court was all about? It essentially paves the way for any foreign interest to contribute all the money they want to any political campaign in the US!

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{Politics.940.26}: Elizabeth Costello {lizcostello} Mon, 31 Jan 2011 13:35:14 EST (5 lines)

Actually that is not what citizens united says Richard.  Did you read
the decision.

And yes, it is illegal.  That's why Obama refused to report on those
donations.

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{Politics.940.27}: Elizabeth Costello {lizcostello} Mon, 31 Jan 2011 13:42:00 EST (1 line)

BTW Richard, do you know what SEIU stands for?

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{Politics.940.28}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sun, 06 Feb 2011 21:36:00 EST (4 lines)

- The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have
to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.

Lord Acton

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{Politics.940.29}: Richard Clark {cardo} Sun, 06 Feb 2011 22:49:42 EST (6 lines)

I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in
its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare
already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid
defiance to the laws our country.

-- Thomas Jefferson

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{Politics.940.30}: From TruthOut {cardo} Fri, 07 Oct 2011 21:24:24 EDT (HTML)

Almost $20 trillion in wealth was destroyed by the Great Recession, and total family wealth is still down by $12.8 trillion (in 2011 dollars) from June 2007 — its last peak.

According to the New York Attorney General’s office, “nine of the financial firms that were among the largest recipients of federal bailout money paid about 5,000 of their traders and bankers bonuses of more than $1 million apiece for 2008.”

The five biggest banks hold 95% of derivatives: Nearly the entire market in _derivatives_ (i.e. the very risky but often very profitable credit/gambling instruments that brought some of the nation’s biggest banks, as well as mega-insurer AIG, to near bankruptcy) is dominated by just five firms: JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo.

In 1995, the six biggest banks in the country held assets equal to about 17% of the country’s GDP. By the end of 2010, their assets as a portion of GDP almost quadrupled, and now equal 63% of GDP.

In the last few decades, regulations on the biggest banks have been systematically eliminated, yet those same banks have continued to engineer ever more ways to both rip off customers and turn ever-more complex trading instruments into ever-higher profits. It makes perfect sense, then, that a movement calling for an economy that works for everyone would center its efforts on an industry that exemplifies the opposite.

"http://www.truth-out.org/11-facts-you-need-know-about-nations- biggest-banks/1318015722"

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{Politics.940.31}: {cardo} Fri, 07 Oct 2011 22:19:55 EDT (0 lines)
{erased by cardo Fri, 07 Oct 2011 22:49:31 EDT}

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{Politics.940.32}: MoneyShouldBeCreatedByCongress {cardo} Fri, 07 Oct 2011 22:51:26 EDT (HTML)

In December 23, 1913, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act, which was in direct violation of the Constitution's Article 1, Section 8, which had given Congress sole power to create money and regulate its value.

Abolishing or nationalizing the Fed, and giving the power to create money back to Congress, is step one in regaining rights not available to us under a bankster-controlled government in which all money is created through bankster-originated indebtedness (i.e. the indebtedness of those to whom the banksters make loans).

Please understand that under our current system, money is actually created when banks loan some amount of it to anyone (at interest). Before the bank made the loan, the money did not exist. So, when the Fed buys US treasury bonds, it pays for them with money it creates out of thin air, with keystrokes on a computer. And please don’t forget that all the money that the banksters create this way, is money the loaning out of which allows them to collect interest on – true for each and every loan, no matter how big the loan or to whom it is made. Also note that all these interest payments the banksters then receive would not have to be made, by any borrower, including the US government, if Congress were the institution that created and dispersed the money. Instead, the money would simply be spent, by Congress, on helping to create and maintain the nation's infrastructure, including its educational systems (toddler through graduate school) and health care systems, and would spread out through the society from these initial investments, from a Congress that authorized and ordered its Treasury Department to create and disperse the money.

This assumes that each state in the union would have its own publically owned state bank whose resources were the property of the people of that state, just as has been case in North Dakota for eighty years. It also assumes that most of the infrastructure that was built and maintained in each state would be arranged and financed through that state’s bank, not through the federal government.

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{Politics.940.33}: BofA to pass losses to us {cardo} Sun, 23 Oct 2011 10:49:44 EDT (HTML)

Our Fed Now Backstopping $75 Trillion in Bank of America's Derivatives Trades

Guest post by William K. Black (who was responsible for jailing hundreds of S&L crooks):

Bob Ivry, Hugh Son, and Christine Harper have written an article that needs to be read by everyone interested in the financial crisis. The article (available at link below) says that Bank of America’s holding company, BAC, has directed the transfer of a large number of troubled financial derivatives from its Merrill Lynch subsidiary to the federally insured bank Bank of America, so that US taxpayers can be held responsible for Merrill's immense losses. The story reports that the Federal Reserve supported the transfer and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) opposed it. Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism has written an appropriately blistering attack on this outrageous action, which puts the public at substantially increased risk of loss.

I write to add some context, point out additional areas of inappropriate actions, and add a regulatory perspective gained from dealing with analogous efforts by holding companies to foist dangerous affiliate transactions on insured depositories. I’ll begin by adding some historical context to explain how BofA got into this maze of affiliate conflicts.

"http://dailybail.com/home/william-black-not-with-a-bang-but-a- whimper-bank-of-americas.html" .

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{Politics.940.34}: BanksterFreedomFromProsecution {cardo} Sun, 08 Jan 2012 09:13:29 EST (HTML)

How we got into this predicament & why it will repeat

If there's anybody left who doesn't understand what happened in 2008 in the way of large-scale and system-wide bankster fraud, how it happened, and how it could well happen again, this testimony by former S&L prosecutor William Black before Congress sums it up nicely.

It's also a pretty good predictor of what we can expect to happen again. Why again? Because the causal factors are once again largely being ignored by Congress, the Justice Department and our regulators. Virtually none of the bankster fraud was prosecuted before, and it looks like none will be, this time, either.

Even though Black's testimony was probably the most important thing the congressmen on this committee had heard in months if not years, the chairman of the hearing tried to shut him up before he had completed his testimony. (The 'monkies' on this committee really didn't want to hear what they were hearing?)

Video: http://www.realecontv.com/page/6472.html

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{Politics.940.35}: Do banksters own the DOJ? {cardo} Tue, 13 Mar 2012 16:44:30 EDT (HTML)

The five bankster banks that recently got off so easy with their sweet $25 billion settlement — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally — engaged “in a pattern of unfair and deceptive practices,” the complaint says, but refrains from any use of words like “criminal” or “fraud.”

Could it be that the banksters in a sense already own the U.S. Department of Justice? After all, what else can you call a $25 billion fine, in punishment for a $100+ billion theft, except “sweet”?

"http://www.opednews.com/articles/A-million-plus-homeowners-by- Richard-Clark-120313-345.html"

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{Politics.940.36}: Glen Marks {wotan} Fri, 16 Mar 2012 05:30:03 EDT (3 lines)

- What is the robbing of a bank compared to the FOUNDING of a bank?

Bertolt Brecht

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{Politics.940.37}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:57:07 EDT (4 lines)

"How Big Banks Are Rewriting the Rules of Our Economy":

"http://billmoyers.com/episode/encore-how-big-banks-are-rewriting-
the-rules-of-our-economy/"

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{Politics.940.38}: Glen Marks {wotan} Wed, 07 Nov 2012 15:45:35 EST (4 lines)

Elizabeth Warren wins:

"http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2012/11/07/elizabeth-
warrens-big-win-is-a-crushing-defeat-for-big-banks/"

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{Politics.940.39}: Richard Clark {cardo} Thu, 08 Nov 2012 11:42:48 EST (1 line)

It's about time that the big banks took some kind of big defeat!

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{Politics.940.40}: Mike Whitney {cardo} Thu, 08 Nov 2012 11:48:18 EST (HTML)

Currently, banks pay zero for the money they borrow from the Fed. Zero. Then they turn around and lend it to you and me for 12, 18 or 30% via credit cards, car loans, mortgages etc. In fact--as we pointed out in an earlier article--at least five banks are now dabbling in payday loans which --according to the Center for Responsible Lending --boosts the average annual interest rate up to eye-watering 365 percent.

Whoa! Now, that's some serious cabbage. You could probably live pretty high on the hog if you could ding your customers by that much, don't you think?

And the same rule applies to Bernanke's QE3. It's just another way of taking John Q. Public to the cleaners. The stated intention of QEternity was to lower mortgage rates by buying $40 billion in mortgage backed securities (MBS) every month. That was supposed to push down mortgage rates which, in turn, would lure more homebuyers into the market. Simple, right? Only it hasn't worked out that way, in fact, as of last Friday, rates on the 30-year "fixed" were a pitiful 10 basis points below what they were when Bernanke first launched the program. In other words, the banks are skimming off all the gravy for themselves. What a surprise!

But back to our larger point, which is that bankers are shitty businessmen who can't navigate the free market without lavish handouts from government. These behemoth capital-sucking TBTF zombies are just black holes that the government tries to fill with public revenues.

Case in point: Mortgage origination. It's all pretty straightforward, right? Joe Blow wants a loan for a new 2-story English Tudor in Hoboken. So you check his credit scores, his income, his job status, and his ability to put 10 to 20% down on the appraised value of the house. If he can meet these criteria; you issue a 30-year "fixed" loan at the current rate of interest and wait for the money to start rolling in.

What could be easier? It's basically free money, right? In fact, the bank jots down the loan as an "asset" on its books which brightens the picture when quarterly reports roll around. So it's all good. All the bank has to do is make sure that Mr Blow has the ability to repay the debt.

So why does the government have to get involved? Why does Uncle Sugar have to guarantee the mortgages that the bank is producing? That's their job, isn't it? Let them take the risk.

But that's not how it works in our bank-friendly republic. Just get a load of this from Washington's Blog:

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled companies that issued and guaranteed more than 71 percent of mortgage-backed bonds last year. Between those companies and Ginnie Mae, which guarantees loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the government backed nearly 97 percent of U.S. mortgages in 2009." ("97% of All U.S. Mortgages are Backed by the Government", Washington's blog)

It's true. The USG underwrites nearly all the mortgages created by private industry. Here's a blurb from last week's Businessweek:

"'The taxpayer is directly on the hook for nine out of every 10 loans getting made,' Michael Heid, president of Wells Fargo & Co.'s home-loan unit said at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual conference last week. That includes loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and other agencies." (Businessweek)

So what's going on here? Why is government providing a multi-billion dollar subsidy ("free insurance") to the cut-throat shysters who just blew up the financial system?

"http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Euthanize-the-TBTF-Banks--by- Mike-Whitney-121106-17.html"

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{Politics.940.41}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sun, 07 Apr 2013 06:41:46 EDT (5 lines)

"Solution to Student Debt is to Get the Banks Out of the Education
Business":

"http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?
option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9882"

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{Politics.940.42}: BobScheerApplaudsDavidStockman {cardo} Sun, 07 Apr 2013 14:38:36 EDT (HTML)

Consider for a moment that America’s biggest banks got a $13 trillion bailout for running the economy into the ground in 2008. Thanks to Ben Bernanke, they continue to take $85 billion a month from the Federal Reserve in exchange for their toxic mortgage-based derivatives. Meanwhile, the rest of the country receives no remedies for its misery. For those who put the public welfare first, the inhumanity of the picture those figures paint was the unassailable crux of Stockman’s piece.

“Since the S&P 500 first reached its current level, in March 2000,” Stockman wrote, “the mad money printers at the Federal Reserve have expanded their balance sheet sixfold (to $3.2 trillion from $500 billion). Yet during that stretch, economic output has grown by an average of 1.7 percent a year (the slowest since the Civil War); real business investment has crawled forward at only 0.8 percent per year; and the payroll job count has crept up at a negligible 0.1 percent annually. Real median family income growth has dropped 8 percent, and the number of full-time middle class jobs, 6 percent. The real net worth of the ‘bottom’ 90 percent has dropped by one-fourth. The number of food stamp and disability aid recipients has more than doubled, to 59 million, about one in five Americans.”

As Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer said during a discussion of Stockman’s piece on “Left, Right & Center” this week, one in five Americans on food stamps and disability is an “astounding figure and image of America.” Given that adequately paid jobs are not being created by corporations that have received tax breaks over the last three decades, the only way to bring those Americans to a minimal condition of social and economic well-being is through deficit spending. “Obviously it would be better not to have deficits,” Scheer continued, “but we must spend now because we have unemployment. … The question is how do you spend.” To the terrible and deep misfortune of the public, the spending of the last few years went into a Wall Street liquidity trap, in which it’s kept by the banks and not used to get the rest of society on its feet.

"http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/truthdigger_of_the_week_david_stockman_20130406/"

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{Politics.940.43}: Glen Marks {wotan} Fri, 24 May 2013 20:25:41 EDT (3 lines)

Moyers recently spoke out against big banks:

http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-going-to-jail-for-justice/

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{Politics.940.44}: Glen Marks {wotan} Wed, 19 Jun 2013 22:59:15 EDT (5 lines)

Upcoming tv program featuring author of THE BANKERS' NEW CLOTHES...:

"http://booktv.org/Program/14570/Book+TV+at+Stanford+University+Anat+Adm
ati+The+Bankers+New+Clothes+Whats+Wrong+with+Banking+and+What+to+Do+abou
t+It.aspx"

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{Politics.940.45}: Chaz {colo9er} Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:06:02 EDT (HTML)

""Solution to Student Debt is to Get the Banks Out of the Education Business":"

get the government out of the student loan and education business as well as see prices drop. Won't eliminate all debt. We all hear about how evil medical costs are but education has increase much more than medical care. Not a peep, why is that?

However, 5-10k in debt is better than 100k in debt. A liberal arts college here in Colorado is 40k a semester in 2008?! I am sure it is higher now.

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